68 Years Later, Praying God Will Move in the UK Again


Franklin Graham preaches at the 2018 Lancashire Festival of Hope in Blackpool, England.

Something rare and powerful is coming to Great Britain. More than 2,600 churches have been preparing, praying and waiting for this moment.

In 1954, a thousand churches supported Billy Graham’s Greater London Crusade and thousands of lives were changed.

This year, churches will take part in another large evangelistic outreach, sharing the best news. God loves you — and you can live with Him forever in heaven.

In May and July, Franklin Graham will stop in four British cities on the God Loves You Tour. The Gospel-focused outreach will kick off in Liverpool, England, on May 14, with additional stops in South Wales, May 21; Sheffield, England, May 25; and London, England, on July 16.

All events are free of charge and everyone is welcome.

For months leading up to the 2018 Lancashire Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham in Blackpool, England, activists protested the event. That didn’t stop hundreds from attending, and thousands more watched online through the livestream.

God Changed London

The 1954 outreach lasted three months and helped establish the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s (BGEA’s) ministry abroad.

But it wasn’t always peaches and cream, or tea and scones.

Since first visiting the UK in his role with Youth for Christ, Billy Graham has been intrigued. “Great Britain had a special place in my thinking,” he wrote. This was partly because he knew that evangelists Dwight Moody and John Wesley had preached there before.

London newspapers ran negative stories ahead of Billy Graham’s controversial event, enough to scare many preachers away forever.

At the time, London was the world’s largest city and at 35 years old, Billy Graham was apprehensive about the international outreach.

“In my entire life, I had never approached anything with such a feeling of inadequacy as I did London,” he confessed. “If God did not do it, it could not be done.”

Many skeptics predicted the Crusade would be a failure. “The British were suspicious of Americans coming over to save them,” the evangelist explained.

Before leaving for London, Billy Graham wanted to be prepared physically as well as spiritually. He spent many hours on the mountain trails near his home in Montreat, North Carolina.

In the solitude and beauty of the mountains, “I would pray and pray and pray, believing deep in my soul that God would bless and honor His Word if I preached it faithfully,” Billy Graham wrote.

The London Crusade was one of the high spots in Billy Graham’s ministry career. More than 2 million Brits heard the Good News over three months, and more than 38,000 of those made decisions for Christ.

For 88 nights, more than 2 million Brits heard the American preach the Gospel. Over 38,000 of them made decisions for Christ.

Billy Graham attributed this spiritual hunger to one thing—prayer power. Prayer groups all over the world were focusing their attention on London for these 1954 meetings.

“We were engaged in a spiritual battle for Britain,” he wrote in his autobiography Just As I Am, “And we needed intercession for divine intervention.”

The BGEA team heard that 35,000 prayer groups in India were asking God to change people’s hearts.

At times during the three-month Crusade, all-night prayer meetings were scheduled in venues all over London.

They were praying expectantly, like churches and individuals are doing for Franklin Graham’s God Loves You Tour.

Will you also join in praying for God to soften the hearts of those who don’t yet know Him?

Do you know Him? Get to know God’s heart through His Son, Jesus Christ.

On the final night of the Crusade at Wembley Stadium, it started sleeting. Yet, umbrellas went up and people stayed. After the message, some 2,000 people waded through the mud to respond to the invitation to receive Christ as Savior.





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